Lynne, Carter, and Calder
While searching for work for Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy, Lynne Warren is surprised by an artist's inspiration.
When I was doing the Alexander Calder Form, Balance, Joy show, which paired our wonderful Calder holdings, and lots of others that I borrowed, with younger artists who were influenced by Calder, I had seen an artist named Nathan Carter in shows in New York, and so I finally contacted him. And I said, "You know, don’t hate me if I say this, but I see influence of Calder in your work.” And he was like, "Oh my gosh, yes! I haven't actually been able to admit that to people," because he went to art school at a time when Calder was not considered an artist you looked at. And when I sat down and really talked to him about it, he revealed that he had traveled to Chicago on a number of occasions—I don't know if he has family here or for some reason he had come through town—and he had seen the Calder shows that I had designed. I had done a lot of the design on the pedestals and things for the Calder pieces in our collection that we showed over and over again, often in different galleries, but often in these configurations of pedestals and things that I had designed.
And he said, "And my work was influenced by those installations.” And I was like, "I designed those installations!” So, then he actually was one of the artists that was in the Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art show. Just hearing a story like that, which I would never imagined. It was beyond just the art inspiring this person. It was the way the art was presented that inspired them. So, you just never know. You just never know. And things can come back years later and you hear some artist go, "Oh, yeah, I remember seeing that show 20 years ago," and you didn't know until that point how influential that 20-year-old show was. So that's always very gratifying. And that's one nice thing about being in the same place for a long time—you get to hear those stories.